I learned a big lesson …
Once upon a time, there was this person that meant the world to me. And one day, I was faced with a reality that shook my ground and I was forced to see things I never thought I would see. To my surprise, it turned out I never really knew this person and with that came a new understanding to the word ‘selfish’.
If we were to define the word by itself, according to Merriam Webster online, this is what it means:
” : concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others”
Is it not funny, when someone accuses you of being selfish; meanwhile that is exactly what they have been themselves. Is it the brain’s mechanism of dealing with their own guilt for being selfish or for acting in a selfish manner. How interesting it is that people are so quick to point fingers and make accusations while releasing themselves from any blame. Is it that they are blind? Or they are that oblivious? Either answer will be worse than the other to be honest. There is a saying that goes like this: “people who live in glass houses should not throw stones”.
Is selfishness a trait or a quality we are born with, or do we develop it as we grow? Can we differentiate between someone that is right out selfish, only thinks about him/herself and someone that thinks or acts selfishly occasionally? Does life turn us into selfish people? Do all we care about is our pleasures? Do we even recognize when we are acting selfishly?
I will admit I can be selfish at times but that does not make me a selfish person. It just does not make sense that I am the caring giving person that I am, yet, I can be described as selfish. Life sometimes forces us to be a bit selfish, as long as we are not hurting anyone, it is ok to be selfish and look after yourself. If you do not take care of yourself, who will?? No one let me tell you, cares about you, more than yourself. That is a fact. No one will go out of their way to give you what you need, to make you happy, to fulfill your dreams, more than YOU. No one is there with you in your moment of silence when you are feeling sad or unfulfilled. Only you know that feeling. So my motto is: “you want something, go for it” if that makes you selfish, well then, I guess we should all just accept the hands dealt to us, go in the corner and cry. Some people do that. Some people do not have the guts to face life’s challenges or even attempt to change it. Does that make you a better person. Are you now being selfless?? Or do you enjoy being the victim? Or are you just being a passive person who will never go out searching for solutions to make your life a better one. You want to accept defeat, go ahead, do just that. But do not call the ones who pursue their dreams as being ‘selfish’.
At the end of the day, we all see what we want to see. It is all a matter of perception, is it not? We justify our actions and our feelings, all so that we reach one thing, and that is our own happiness.
Having said that, it does not mean that while searching for your happiness, you forget to make other people happy as well. From a spiritual perspective, your happiness comes from seeing other people happy. But as this person, who once upon a time mattered to me, said: “that is only in the movies”. I chuckle at that thought as I recall how this person received more than ever gave back. Yet, has the nerves to call someone else ‘selfish’.
People will twist around things you have done for them and make you look like the bad guy in the end. People who have no heart, will not realize how much you have poured out your heart to them. They will pick on everything you said or did and hold on the mistakes that in the end incriminate you. Then turn it into a big problem and make it that this is who you are, thus crucifying you. There is a difference between judging someone for who they are at the core versus what they do. We all make mistakes. We all have bad judgments. We all learn as we go through life experiences. We are in the end Humans. But to knock someone down because you cannot handle being around them, is actually a very cowardly thing to do.
When someone is insecure about themselves and they know they are not even half the person in front of them, they do and say everything in their power to make that person less than them. Maybe that’s their way of feeling better about themselves. These people, I actually feel sorry for. I pity those who have to resort to name calling and trying to hurt you by their harsh words. In the end, that is all the power they have over you. But they do not know that they will not succeed in bringing you down, no matter what they say or do. Their words will never take away from the wonderful person you know you are. The person you know the rest of the world see you as. That is because they were really never the half of you. And they know it, but they deny it to themselves and the world around them.
The best thing to do in a situation when someone insults you so that they feel better than you is to just keep your silence. There is no need to insult them back. They are not worth it. You know that the way they are describing you has no merit. And there is no need for you to prove them wrong either. Let them think how they want, let them say what they want. Their opinion of you does not really matter, because they do not matter. Think of it like a dog barking and you do not understand what they are barking at. Let them bark away. With all due respect to dogs that is. My words are intended metaphorically. Ultimately; you will be the bigger person by not stooping low to their level.
Maybe we all have a bit of selfishness. Maybe it is our way of survival. As long as we do not hurt anyone, going after what we want is simply our way of looking out for ourselves. We are not saints. The majority of mankind is not anyway. So let us not pretend to be ones. Those who have dedicated their life to God are capable of doing and being more than anyone can imagine. But we are not all ready and able to live like that. Meanwhile, we live according to our conscious. We are not going to live solely for the happiness of everyone around us. We will not sacrifice who we are and what we want just to make others accept us. And if we are misunderstood, misjudged, or get mistreated, we let go and focus on ourselves being who we are. I believe in standing tall knowing who you are from within and knowing the impact you have on those around you. Others opinion of you, does not change who you truly are. May God bless them anyway, and one day may the blindness of their heart wash away.